Defending the Mac

OG iMac

A few years back, an ex-girlfriend of mine asked me for help buying a new computer. She wanted to check e-mail, surf the web, and have a place to put her hundreds of pictures. At the time, I was a PC user, but was heavily considering moving to a Mac for my photography business, and was thinking about switching. So being the good friend that I am – as well as the guy who doesn’t want to deal with support after the fact – I took my ex out to buy a new iMac.

At the time, Apple hadn’t introduced the Intel chipset, Leopard was a year out and the iPhone was a fanboy pipe dream. And since there was only one Apple store in town and it was far, we picked up a brand new 17-inch iMac, a Netgear router and headed towards her apartment to set things up. An hour or so later, the computer was running fine and I told her to call me if she ever had any problems.

She called me yesterday, almost four years later, with her first problem. A few days prior, one of her friends came by the house and couldn’t connect his PC to her wireless network. He stomped around the place, blaming the “stupid Mac” and switched around a few cables until he finally gave up. After he left, she contacted me to fix the problem. “All my friends are telling me the problem is with my Mac, and that you’re an idiot for getting it for me,” she said.

We troubleshooted the problem for a bit and as I suspected, it was all router related, so we had it fixed in a few minutes and a call to the ISP later. But after hearing her friend’s comments, it started me thinking.

It’s 2009, almost 2010. I walk down the street and see people talking on their iPhones all the time. I never hear anyone referring to their Zune or iRiver, everyone has an iPod and they all love them. Mac commercials are now on TV all the time, and the OS is gaining in popularity. Hell, my tattoo artist has a Mac, and he doesn’t exactly fit the demographic. I guess I just didn’t figure that I had to defend the Mac anymore. After all, everyone knows about Apple nowadays, and you no longer feel like a pariah walking into a Best Buy and asking for Mac software.

For me though, the answer came when I asked my ex about the status of her computer. After all, a 4-year old iMac could be on its last legs, struggling to perform on a daily basis. “It’s great. No problems at all. I can play my music in the apartment, all my pictures download easily, and I’ve never had a problem.”

Which ultimately, is the point. People use Macs because they’re easy and headache free  – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Comments

  1. A few days prior, one of her friends came by the house and couldn’t connect his PC to her wireless network. He stomped around the place, blaming the “stupid Mac” and switched around a few cables until he finally gave up. After he left, she contacted me to fix the problem. “All my friends are telling me the problem is with my Mac, and that you’re an idiot for getting it for me,” she said.

    It sounds like her friends are the idiots…

  2. Follow The Herd says:

    Most people stick with PC because thats what they know. I.T. folks get defensive about P.C. vs Mac because it might mean extra work for them or because it might mean they lose control or something.

    In the end it is really just herd mentality. When enough people have used the iPhone or used a Mac, then you’ll have people saying,,, Stupid PC!

  3. good story…I feel the same way…I have running for my mother an iMac G3, and I gave my sister my old iMac G4 & iBook G4 both running Leopard and still kicking good…

    when people talk about the expensiveness of a Mac…I say BULL SHIT…because in the time it takes a Mac to become obsolete/unusable you would have to have bought at least 3-4 PC’s

    think about how much money that will cost you over the length of the life of the computer or lack of life

    then talk to me about price

  4. Great story!

    I can attest to the same. I’m on my third MacBook Pro (only because I always want the newest) with the ORIGINAL installation of OS and Software, which would be impossible with Windows. My previus MBP’s are still in full production/swing with my employees as I hand them down when I upgrade.

    I’m trying to convince our COO that Macs in the workplace also have a solid ROI compared to PC’s over the INITIAL purchase cost. Been surfing for a while trying to find a good example – anyone have a good link?

  5. @Avvid: You could start by looking for statistics as to how many people still use G4/G3 machines, and dig up the dates those machines are from. When I read Macworld I still see people talking about their G4 Powermacs that they still use for their small business, or the G3 iBooks that they keep on their coffee table or in the kitchen.

  6. I am a Mac user, going on two years now. I’m also a Linux person but I’ll keep that out of the conversation. The only reason I bring it up is to point out that I was already fed up with Windows.

    I love my Mac, most of the time. I certainly don’t miss anything from windows but occasionally I do miss a few things from the Linux world. However, being that OS X is based on FreeBSD I can still do many unix like things. For instance I can really use CUPS the way it was intended. Backups with rsync and cron jobs make for an easy way to keep data. Even though I love my Mac I could never drop Linux. I’ve not used Windows in over 5 years and I’m happy.

    But I did have one problem with my iMac. My hard drive died 13 months after I bought it. I didn’t spend the money on the Applecare. I didn’t feel like I really needed to. I did take it apart and put in a new hard drive. It doesn’t take a genuis to figure it out.

    I always recommend a Mac first. Then after the groans and moans I’ll give other advice, but I always start with the mac recommendation.

  7. thats a good one for the haters.
    The person “stomping around” blaming the Mac sounds like every PC user I know.
    If theres a Mac in the room, its the Macs fault the internet wont work.
    I still have a PowerBook 540c that came out in 1994, that still works like the day I got it.
    Now it is oh so very slow (compared to todays standards), but nevertheless it still works.
    Great story man!

  8. you nailed it!No problemo Dude!

  9. I am a programmer…SQL…MS world. For years, I watched my graphic designer husband operate a Mac and thought it worked seamlessly, but I could never really convert. Years later, some friends of mine gave me a MacBook because they knew I was interested. I really wish I had converted earlier. I’ve had it for two years now and it runs as smoothly and efficiently as it did when I first bought it. Usually when purchasing something, it loses it’s “new” feel….never with an Apple product. I love my Macbook and I still love my iPhone. The only issue I ever had was a faulty battery charger cord. That’s it.

  10. Joe Bloe says:

    I’ll tell you the reason I love using a Mac over Windows. With Windows machines, even ones that beat the minimum specs, you continuously have stoppages in productivity while the computer does something. You are constantly frozen, locked out or waiting to do something, while the OS stymies your attempts to get things done. The hourglass icon is a constant fixture. With the Mac, however, I see NONE of these stoppages, even over long periods of computing with lots of programs running. The OS is never in my way, telling me I have to wait for something. When I do see the pinwheel icon on the Mac, I’m surprised because it’s been so long since I’ve last seen it.

    Macs just work.

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